I have mixed feelings about adapting the classical puttanesca dish to this baked basmati rice version, but truth be told it is so delicious that I think you’ll forgive me. I initially found a baked orzo puttanesca in Ottolenghi´s book Shelf, but I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could make a version of it with basmati rice instead. I left out the traditional anchovies, and changed the proportion of the ingredients around a bit, but the technique is still the same as Ottolenghi´s so feel free to check his original recipe out too. For mine, keep reading.
250g basmati rice
350g of tuna
80g black olives (or Kalamata for the original recipe)
a finely chopped onion
six crushed garlic cloves
two tbsp capers
a large tomato sliced
a tbsp tomato paste
400g of tinned tomatoes
60 ml olive oil
half a tsp chilli flakes
half of a preserved lemon, thinly sliced
1. Add three tablespoons of olive oil to a large iron cast skillet or pot and fry the finely chopped onion for 8 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and fry for one more minute.
2. Add the capers, half of the preserved lemon thinly sliced, 50g of the olives, the tuna, the tomato paste, the tinned tomatoes, the rice, 450ml of water, a tsp of salt and one of pepper. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid or aluminium foil and bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven, add the sliced tomato plus the parmesan on top and bake for another 15 minutes.
4. Let it sit for 10 minutes while you top it with the remaining olives and preserved lemon. If you have some fresh basil leaves, add those on top along with the remaining olive oil. Serve.